On Cory Doctorow's Pluralistic

++ Walt Disney’s grandson, Brad Lund, is calling for Disney execs to cut bonuses and distribute the money to furloughed workers.

++ A patent troll is suing ventilator makers.:

What’s the lowest, scummiest thing a patent troll could do? How about suing a bunch of ventilator manufacturers during the coronavirus pandemic, for violating a bullshit patent that never should have been granted in the first place?”

++ Private equity is destroying the US healthcare system.. We need a healthcare business that’s run like a fire department, with “lots of reserve capacity to cope with rare, but catastrophic problems.”

Where did the reserve capacity in US healthcare go? Into the pockets of private equity, an “investment” system that loads up useful, functioning real-economy businesses with debt, extracts all their value, and then leaves them to fail.

In “The Sopranos” and “Goodfellas,” we see scenes where Mafiosi come in and take over a thriving small business. They take out a lot of loans they never plan to repay and then, at the end, they sell off all the assets for whatever pennies on the dollar they can get. In the end, the business is destroyed.

That’s how private equity works on whatever business it touches. It’s happening to healthcare, it happened to Sears and Toys R Us and nearly happened to Barnes and Noble.

++ “Black American’s covid mortality is 2x white mortality: “AKA, ‘Why Republicans no longer care about coronavirus.’”

++ Spotify is trying to do with podcasting what Facebook did to blogging: Kill it.

Joe Rogan signed with Spotify for $100M.

… even Rogan admits there are no consumer benefits from this deal: “It will be the exact same show. I am not going to be an employee of Spotify. We’re going to be working with the same crew doing the exact same show.”

In other words, the only difference is enclosure: taking something from the federated, open, competitive web and sticking it inside a walled garden. It’s the App Store strategy, the Facebook strategy, the AOL strategy, the MSN strategy.

++ Monopolies killed corporate R&D

++ Help the EFF explain why allowing Google to take over Fitbit is wrong. The EFF is looking for stories from Fitbit ueres.

++ A Southern US grocery chain, Harris Teeter, is taking employees’ temperatures when they show up for work and sending them home if they ha a fever. But they won’t show employees the temperature, “for reasons that no one – not even the company’s line managers – can figure out.”

As employees, managers, and health, labor and privacy experts told Buzzfeed’s Brianna Sacks this has no basis in law or practice, and opens up employees to a host of abuses (like managers keeping sick workers on shift when they’re understaffed).

++ “Bill Clinton sings ‘Baby Got Back:’ Speech synthesis is just sublimely weird.”.

Mitch Wagner's Blog @MitchWagner